M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

“Quality television has the power to elevate our understanding of the world, encourage respect for one another, and influence our lives in a positive way.” –Montana PBS

A woman with blond hair and glasses is filmed in front of a Montana PBS TV

Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed in the importance of broadcasting, choosing to own a TV and radio repair shop after high school. Throughout his life, he was an active supporter of this industry. This is one reason the Trust has been so grateful to support radio and TV broadcasting across the Pacific Northwest since our founding. Continuing in this tradition, we were thrilled to support Friends of Montana PBS with an investment at our most recent grants meeting.

Through quality television for the entire state, Montana PBS uses media to educate, inspire, entertain, and express a diversity of perspectives. It tells the story of their state through programs that thoughtfully reflect on Montana’s history. It keeps Montanans up to date on relevant news. And it provides enriching learning experiences for PK-12, offering free PBS Kids programs and classroom-ready resources.

In a state without publicly funded preschool (one of just six states in the U.S.), many 4-year-olds in Montana don’t have access to classroom learning opportunities. This makes free early learning resources for Montana’s youngest residents especially important. In addition to interactive PBS Kids content available 24/7, Montana PBS offers creative learning workshops for families, Family Night in a Box, resources for screen-free learning, and more. Especially while COVID-19 forced many students into remote learning situations, these educational resources helped offset delays in learning. And it wasn’t just young children. Documentaries and shows provided the entire family with entertainment and education during the pandemic’s most isolating days.

Since 2003, the Trust has partnered with Montana PBS through five projects funded by grants totaling over half a million dollars. Over this time, the outlet grew from a station serving one south central valley to a statewide network reaching every corner of Montana. Their most recent grant will support this extensive infrastructure with important equipment updates so that their programs continue to reach all households.

We know that Jack Murdock would have been proud to support Montana PBS. We are honored to carry on Jack’s legacy through organizations such as this, along with a number of broadcasting stations throughout our region.

Thank you, Montana PBS!  

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